Thursday, January 29, 2009

Completely Nonsensical

A really appropriate quote:

A panicked rush to ‘save the economy’ with a massive increase in federal spending now would be like trying to cure dysentery with Ex-Lax.

Pelosi's Fraud

1. Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says — in almost precisely these words — "We won. We get to do whatever we want."

2. She then brings in her cronies to write the "stimulus" bill we all supposedly need, while shutting out everyone else.

3. Taking gas for 2., she brings in a few selected Republicans, and semi-politely pretends to listen to their viewpoints before totally ignoring them.

4. She ram-rods the "stimulus" bill through the House, even though it has very little in it that could remotely be considered stimulus. (Just for starters, nearly all its spending is after the recession will already be over — unless it is prolonged by stupid governmental interference.)

5. Pelosi adds insult to injury by stating that Republicans who disagree with her are unpatriotic.

San Fran Nan makes me ashamed to be a Democrat!

Thoughtcrime Conviction

George Orwell would be proud!

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has now been convicted in his impeachment trial and removed from office. And yet, as far as I have read, there was no actual wrongdoing even charged. Even for a conspiracy charge, there has to be some concrete act in furtherance of the conspiracy. Here, Blagojevich has been convicted of a thoughtcrime — or maybe of injudicious free speech. Or maybe it's just that he pissed of the legislators, and they don't like him. I don't like "Hot Rod", either, but this isn't right.

A few other thoughts:

  • This demonstrates that, as bad as New Mexico politics is, Illinois is worse. (Yes, I know — given the history of the Chicago political machine, this should not be a surprise.)
  • If dislike and piss-off are the criteria, as established by the Illinois legislature, it becomes likely that impeachment charges will be filed against each of the legislators — and lots of other elected officials and unelected bureaucrats.
  • It appears Illinois' senators violated their oaths as impeachment judges in convicting the governor of non-crimes. This is the inverse of the 1999 presidential impeachment trial where a large number of Senatorial Democrats demonstrated their violation of their oaths by openly stating their beliefs the president had committed the crimes charged before voting "not guilty". (And at least, in that case, actual crimes were charged, even if they were the most minor of the charges that could have been brought.)
  • While at the gym, I saw a writer from the Chicago Tribune being interviewed. He responded to Blagojevich's claim that President Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, should be considered a co-conspirator. He said this claim was obviously baseless because (quoting from memory) "He's already said 'I did nothing illegal.'" Of course, Blagojevich has also said "I did nothing illegal." So why — other than his biases and those of his employer — does he automatically credit this statement from one politician and not another?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bait & Switch

It's a classic bait & switch. Congress decided to get into everybody else's business. They didn't just support a shift from analog to digical television — they mandated it. What's more, they mandated an end to most analog television broadcasting on a fixed date, February 17, 2009.

That's why there's been such an advertising blitz for months, telling everyong to get ready for the changeover date. That's why television stations all over the country have been spending a lot of money and time preparing and activating new digital transmitters.

And now, to complete the classic bait and switch, Congress is saying “Never mind!” At this very late date, just three weeks before the cutoff date, they're moving that date out to June. Their excuse is that not everyone is ready for the change. But, as a resident in the metropolitan area identified as being least ready, I note that the pressure for moving the date back is coming from areas much more ready than we are.

It all goes to show that Congress' word isn't worth the time it takes to hear it.

Why? What Are They Afraid Of?

Here's a question that needs an answer right here in the state of New Mexico.

The New Mexico legislature passed, and the governor signed, a bill to let the citizens see how their legislature operates. The cameras were purchased and placed in the Roundhouse (our state capitol building), and the infrastructure was prepared to support webcasting legislative sessions.

But there was a hang-up. The legislative leadership, in both the House and the Senate, decided they wouldn't allow the cameras to be used — and ordered them removed. They are now (reportedly) stored in the capitol basement.

Several legislators are fighting the leadership, even to the point of bringing their own webcams into (so far) committee sessions. We don't yet know how it's going to come out.

Meanwhile, there are some questions that need answers. Why don't the leaders of the legislature want to let the citizenry see them work? What are they doing that they're ashamed of? They claim they're afraid the legislators might start acting differently if the cameras were rolling. Based on what we have seen, that would probably be a good thing.

(One legislator is a bit more honest — he's afraid the cameras will catch him napping in the session, and that will show up in political ads in his next election race.)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Which Obama Will Govern?

Barack Obama took the oath of office last week to become the nation's 44th president since the adoption of the U.S. Constitution. Now the question becomes which Obama will govern? He ran as a true leftist in the primaries, but moved to run as a centrist in the general election. During the campaign, I tended to believe the former as it was more consistent with his limited record. But it is also possible he has learned through the campaign process, and maybe since. It's also true that actually becoming president often changes people as the true scale of their new responsibilities becomes apparent.

To find out which Obama will govern, we'll have to wait to find out how he acts in office. Only firm actions will show. And, so far — already, there's been enough in his actions to piss off anyone who's been paying attention. He has appointed moderates and socialists (affiliation, not assessment). He has signed executive orders that people of different viewpoints have been able to interpret in radically different ways. So the bottom line is we still don't know.

Trying to be all things to all people makes a lot of people feel good, and a lot of others feel frustrated. The danger is it may end up coming across like trying to fool all the people all the time.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

How Did Poe Really Die?

Monday is Edgar Allan Poe’s 200th birthday, on January 19th. And once again, as in every year since 1949, an unknown someone will probably leave three roses and a half-empty bottle of cognac at his gravesite Monday night.

The cause of Poe’s death remains unknown. He was found unconscious on the street in Baltimore, and taken to a hospital, where he died several days later without ever regaining consciousness. The mystery of Poe’s death has produced a lot of discussion over the years. Various authors have suggested a variety of possible causes for his death including delirium tremens, heart disease, epilepsy, syphilis, meningeal inflammation, cholera, and rabies. None of the speculations has been generally accepted, apparently because none explains the full set of observations. But it seems to me the real answer may be much simpler.

One key to the answer is to remember that a number of people have noted Poe’s reputation as a drunkard. He was known to drink — occasionally or frequently, depending on whose description is used — and was often seen in an inebriated condition. In fact, his drinking was the reason that his name was crossed out of the family Bible. But there was another piece to Poe’s reputation as well: He was known to have a very low tolerance for alcohol, and it was said of him that one glass of wine would put him “under the table”. This very low alcohol tolerance is characteristic of an individual with diabetes.

The other key comes from family history. At least parts of the Miller, Daffron, and Poe families were quite close. Elements of these three families traveled down the Ohio River together, settled in southeast Missouri, and intermarried over multiple generations. (These are collateral lines, not descendants; Edgar Allan Poe had no children.) And it is notable that diabetes is quite frequent among these families in the 20th century, generation after generation.

The prior observations and this history suggest the possibility that Edgar Allan Poe was diabetic. (Diabetes could not be readily diagnosed or treated during Poe’s lifetime.) If so, he may have passed out in Baltimore due to low blood sugar, and not due to being drunk as has so long been asserted. And if that is the case, it adds to the tragedy of his early death as it raises the likelihood that he could have been revived at any time during those last days in the hospital by simply pouring some fruit juice in his mouth.

This description is not definitive. It is certainly possible the diabetic tendencies enterred these family lines from another direction and/or at a later time. Nevertheless, the combination of the family history of diabetes and the historical observations of Edgar Allan Poe is very suggestive. And this suggestion does explain the observations during Poe’s lifetime and at the time of his death.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Mexico — A One-Party State

The Democrats have controlled the New Mexico state government for decades, with — just once in a while, to break the monotony — a Republican governor. But our Congressional delegation has normally been split between the parties — all long-serving office-holders.

But then Senator Pete Domenici announced his retirement, and all three of our Representatives went after his seat. As a result, with the swearing-in of the new Congress, New Mexico is now represented by nothing but Democrats.

Now we really are — completely — a one party state.

The Left's View of Israel and Gaza

I've never thought much of Roseanne Barr's talent, taste, intelligence, or morals, but this is pretty far out, even for her.

Roseanne Barr says
Israel is a NAZI state. The Jewish Soul is being tortured in Israel. The destruction of the jews in Israel has been assured with this inhuman attack on civilians in gaza. Hamas is the street gangs --- this is equivilent to los angeles attacking and launching war on the people of watts to attempt to kill the bloods and the crips.
Amazingly, that's still less stupid than HuffPo imbecile Lorelei Kelly's assertion that attacking Hamas is like attacking the Salvation Army.
I wonder what color the sky is in their world.

The Ku Klux Klan Lives On

... in the Middle East. Most recently, they demonstrated in Lebanon.

Meanwhile, the KKK's Gaza chapter continues its decade-long Jew-extermination efforts.